Law School Discussion

How much does WE help?

How much does WE help?
« on: June 25, 2007, 07:45:33 AM »
I'm a junior in UG right now and I'm trying to figure out whether I want to work for a year after graduation or apply directly to law school out of UG. If I do take the year off, I'll likely work full time and take a prep course for the LSAT, or if not I'll probably start studying for the LSAT Spring of my junior year and apply after graduation. My main question is, will the WE for a year make a big difference for my app? I know GPA and LSAT are basically the main components of the app but how much will WE help?

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Re: How much does WE help?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 08:11:28 AM »
I think it depends on what kind of job. I applied to over 10 schools and only W&L was impressed with my 5+ years of work experience. The others probably didnt care or if they did, they failed to mention it.

Re: How much does WE help?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 08:37:46 AM »
As with all other "soft factors" WE might matter to distingush you from others with the same numbers. Some schools (like Northwestern) pretty much require it. Other schools probably don't care. I think, taking the year off and focusing on nailing the LSAT (the most important part of your app) is going to pay more divdends than the WE.

Re: How much does WE help?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2007, 11:27:56 AM »
A couple thoughts on the matter...

1) As previously mentioned, Northwestern loves people with WE, almost to the point of taking people with WE exclusively. If I remember correctly, the number was 92% of admits last year had previous WE.
2) And the reason why I am delaying my application to law school...if you apply straight out of undergrad, your resume and choices after law school will be limited, in a sense. I may be off-base here, so someone can feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Coming straight out of UG to law school, with no true WE, your resume, probably besides the odd summer internship, college accomplishments, student gov't exp, etc. is relatively bare in regards to real-world experience. And as such,  coming out of law school, it will be expected that you practice. If you choose not to do so and want to apply for a job outside of practice, while your law degree will be very helpful and impressive, one would think that the employer would either take a) the candidate with previous experience in the field or b) the candidate with previous experience in the field and the law degree, as opposed to someone with just the law degree. So, at least in my view, putting off applying for a year or two wouldn't necessarily be a terrible idea. You could take the time to do something you truly enjoy that isn't necessarily high-paying that you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to pursue (and after law school, may not be such a great idea...there are loans to be paid), mature a little bit, and build up your resume in order to open up a greater number of options after law school besides practicing behind at a BIGLAW firm.